Personal Development
How to Carry a Conversation the Art of Making Connections

How to Carry a Conversation the Art of Making Connections

Shiken premium Upgrade Banner

Mastering the Art of Conversation - Tips for Making Connections

Developing social and professional relationships is a fundamental part of our lives. Not only does it help with networking for career development, but having friends at work can positively impact one's emotional wellbeing. Nevertheless, it can be quite daunting to put yourself out there and engage in conversations with people you have just met.

This article will provide you with the tips and tricks needed to carry a conversation like a pro!

What Makes A Good Conversation?

There are several factors which contribute to a good conversation. Following these will reduce the chances of awkward pauses and pauses.

  • Active Listening - A type of listening where the other person's words are being consciously being heard and understood. Doing this indicates emotional dexterity and allows for more efficient recollection of the conversation. This skill can be improved by repeating what you heard back to the speaker and talking less to allow more listening.
  • Asking & Answering Questions - Asking questions in relevance to what the other person has said will broaden the conversation, as well as showcase a deeper understanding of the topic. Furthermore, it will signify to your conversation partner that you are actively listening and engaged.
  • Finding Mutual Interests & Similarities - Mutual interests and similarities are great discussion starters to help keep the conversation going and to establish an area of common interests.
  • Having An Intention For The Conversation - Having a clear goal in mind is important, whether it is for a formal or informal conversation. This will provide direction and prevent a feeling of unease or awkwardness.

10 Tips to Succeed At Conversation

Still uncertain how to effectively carry a conversation? Check out these 10 tips:

  • Ask Lots of Questions - Asking questions is essential in understanding and engaging in conversation. Just remember to not overwhelm your conversation partner.
  • Avoid Controversial Topics - Be aware of the situation and the person you are talking to. Avoid any topics that could potentially be seen to be in bad taste.
  • Start with Open-Ended Questions - Open-ended questions which cannot be answered with a simple yes or no are great for keeping conversations going.
  • Be Positive & Confident - It is important to be confident and project a positive attitude. This will help build your confidence which is key to carrying a conversation successfully.
  • Balance Your Conversation Contributions - Take turns between talking and listening. Do not dominate the conversation and leave ample opportunities for the other person to speak.
  • Show Empathy & Interest - Expressing genuine interest in what the other person is saying and being empathetic will make the conversation more enjoyable and meaningful.

Tips for Effective Communication in Any Setting

Whether we're looking to better engage in conversations with coworkers, friends, or family, communication is an integral part of any relationship. This article will cover some tips for how to effectively communicate with others, whether in-person or online.

In-Person Communication Tips

When it comes to having conversations in person, your body language plays a large part in establishing a connection with the other person. Here are some tips for how to effectively communicate with someone face-to-face:

  • Be Aware of Body Language & Tone of Voice: Try to be aware of how your body language and tone of voice are affecting the conversation. If you are unsure, just try to mimic your conversation partner's body language and tone.
  • Avoid Making Assumptions: Assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and potential conflicts. So try to avoid jumping to conclusions and instead actively listen for clarification.
  • Don't Overthink It: Don't worry too much about how the conversation is going. Even if there is a lull in the conversation, don't panic. Just try to stay relaxed and allow the conversation to flow naturally.
  • End on a Positive Note:Try to remember to end the conversation on a positive note. This will ensure you leave a good impression and make your conversation partner more likely to want to talk with you again in the future.
  • Smile:Smiling is particularly important when starting a conversation. Smile at your prospective conversation partner before either of you starts talking. This will show that you are approachable and friendly.
  • Make Eye Contact: Making good eye contact shows them that you are interested and engaged in the conversation. If you keep looking around, it tells the other person that you are either disinterested in what they are saying or distracted.
  • Give Compliments:Giving a compliment is an act of kindness that never goes unnoticed. Complimenting your conversation partner will make them feel better about themselves. It will also enrich your conversation. Pay attention to what they are saying so you can find opportunities to compliment them genuinely.
  • Ask for Advice or Recommendations: If you're not sure how to keep a conversation going, ask for advice or recommendations. This shows that you are actively listening and that you value their input.

The Art of Conversation & The Power it Holds in the Workplace

The art of conversation contributes to various types of power in the workplace. Specifically, it helps you acquire referent power, and thereby build trust and respect with your co-workers. Here are some tips for how to best engage in conversation:

  • Don't Come On Too Strong: Pay attention to the flow of the conversation and provide ample opportunity for your conversation partner to speak. If you speak too much, you may come across as very intense or more interested in yourself than your conversation partner.
  • Maintain a Positive Attitude: By maintaining a positive attitude during a conversation, we show that we have self-control. People are also more likely to want to have conversations with a positive person rather than someone who is negative or who complains a lot.
  • Utilize the FORD Method: The FORD method describes an acronym that provides us with topics for a conversation. It stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. By remembering this acronym, you will always have at least four relatable conversation topics to talk about.
  • Prepare Topics Ahead of Time: If you want to know how to carry a conversation with maximum success, prepare some talking points beforehand. You can prepare topics for specific situations, such as conversations with coworkers, managers, or life-long friends. By preparing beforehand, you won't get caught unaware with nothing to say.
  • Do an Activity Together Online: With a large number of us working from home, we can often feel isolated and disconnected. To bridge that gap, try doing an activity together online. This can be anything from playing a game together or just having a virtual chat. Doing something interactive can really help build a connection and help keep the conversation going.

Developing Great Conversational Skills

Effective conversation plays a massive role in successful and inclusive leadership. Not only does it boost your social capital and promote career growth, but it can also help you develop and maintain good relationships with your peers. To help you become a great conversationalist, here are some tips on how to develop your communication skills online and in-person:

Engage in Online Activities

We can reduce the stress of conversations by engaging in online activities like playing video games or taking virtual tours with friends or colleagues. Participating in these activities can help strengthen relationships, as well as make conversations online feel less impersonal.

Don't Neglect Small Talk

Small talk is an important part of both online and in-person conversations and should not be forgotten. It is a great way to build a connection with someone, no matter how brief the conversation is.

Know When to End the Conversation

Knowing when and how to end a conversation is another skill essential in the art of good communication, regardless of the platform. Ending online conversations can be a bit trickier, so make sure you pay attention to the other person's body language and adjust the conversation accordingly.

Preparing & Practicing Conversation Starters

To make conversations easier, it is important to prepare and practice conversation starters in advance. Not only will it make conversations more natural, but it will also help break the ice and reduce any stress you might have. Additionally, channeling your intellectual curiosity and asking thoughtful questions are great ways to get conversations going.

Courageous Conversations

Having courageous conversations about social justice, race, and privilege at work are essential for building safety and trust among everyone. To facilitate these conversations, it is important to learn how to hold space for your team, understand the difference between intent and impact, and foster open and honest conversations. Additionally, having an understanding of mental health awareness is also important for promoting sensitivity when it comes to these conversations.

Conversations with Experts

Having a healthy relationship with your manager or supervisor is essential for any workplace. To build that trust and respect, you need to be able to have open conversations with them. If you need help learning how to have difficult conversations or giving negative feedback to a manager, there are resources available to help you.

By following these tips, you can become a more confident communicator and improve the quality of your conversations - both online and in-person. With deliberate practice and the right support, you can become a great conversationalist in no time!

Join Shiken For FREE

AI-powered learning tools. Create, relax, learn.

Gumbo Study Buddy

Try Shiken Premium
for Free

14-day free trial. Cancel anytime.
Get Started
Join 20,000+ learners worldwide.
The first 14 days are on us
96% of learners report x2 faster learning
Free hands-on onboarding & support
Cancel Anytime